Sinus headaches happen due to the pressure exerted due to the blockage of the sinuses. The sinuses are spaces behind your nose, cheekbones and inside your forehead. These spaces have some mucus and plenty of empty space. When you are afflicted by an infection, the sinuses get inflamed.
Symptoms of a sinus headache
The pain due to a sinus headache gets worse when you move your head suddenly. You feel a pain constantly in the region of your forehead, cheekbones, and bridge of your nose. You might experience other sinus symptoms too such as these:
- Your ears feel full
- Have a runny nose
- Swollen face
You might find more signs of the ailment such as stuffy nose, sore throat, nasal discharge, fatigue, and cough.
Home and alternate remedies for sinus headache
Use herbal remedies
- You can use willow bark to make tea. Powder some willow bark and boil it in water. Drink the tea three times for good relief.
- Use freshly chopped feverfew leaves to make some tea. Drain the mixture and cool the tea. Have it twice a day for most relief.
- Crush some ginger and pepper together and boil it in some water. Drain and let the mixture cool. Drink this whenever you have the symptoms of the sinus headache.
- Take 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric. Mix it with Aloe Vera juice. Add the juice of lemon and ginger. Drink half a cup twice a day.
Use a neti pot
The neti pot is a pot to help pour water through your nostril to clean it. Take some warm saline water in the pot. Stand over the sink and tilt your head forward. Place the spout of the neti pot in one nostril and gently raise the pot. The warm water will go through the nostril to the back of the head and enter your mouth. Spit out the water and continue with the other nostril. This will help clear out the mucus.
Use a moisturizing bath
Use the warm shower to get some moisture into the nasal cavity. The warm moisture will remove the dust and irritants and provide relief. If you don’t prefer a bath, you can try the warm water in a basin method. Cover your head with a towel while you breathe in the moisture. This is helpful when the sinuses become dry, and you experience pain.
Apply essential oils
Use essential oils to ease the pain. Rub some Lavandula angustifolia or peppermint oil to the temples with gentle rotating movement. The essential oils have the nature of soothing headaches, and so you will get relief within some time. The essential oil relaxes the muscles and eases the tension in the head. Alternatively, you can use eucalyptus essential oil as it has an inherent nature of relieving colds and congestion.
Use of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is an alternative home remedy with little side effects. It uses a natural substance to help heal or cause the body to heal itself. Chronic sufferers of sinus headaches have tried homeopathic treatment and reported successful recovery within weeks of starting the treatment. Among the substances used to treat sinus headaches and sinus congestion, the most prominent ones are Arsenic album, Pulsatilla, Kali bichromicum, Belladonna, and Mercurius.
All the remedies have a different effect on different people. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve in a brief time, then discontinue and try something else. If the pain increases, consult your doctor immediately.
Treatment for sinus headaches
As each headache such as a migraine headache or tension headache has their own treatment plan, in the same way, sinus headaches too have their own method of treatment. A simple physical examination will tell the physician whether you have a sinus headache or not. But, when he is not sure, you might have to use CT scans and MRI scans.
The primary objective is to treat the infection that is causing the flare up in the sinus. The symptoms should also be treated, so the person has relief. The home remedies and alternate remedies may take time since they are natural treatment methods.
Medication and surgery
Use of medicines
Those suffering from sinus headaches may take antibiotics, antihistamines, and decongestants. In certain cases, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids for dealing with the inflammation. The painkiller drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen might help those who have a severe headache. You can buy decongestants over-the-counter, meaning without a prescription.
Don’t take decongestants and pain-relieving medicines for long since this could lead to headaches. Decongestants raise the blood pressure so people who have elevated blood pressure should be cautious. They should consult their doctor before they take the decongestant.
Consider surgical treatment
In the case of polyps or swollen sinuses, surgery is advocated. Consult your doctor to find out more. When bone spurs cause the sinus headaches, you must have surgery to remove them.
Preventive Allergy Treatment
Allergies can cause sinus congestion that makes your head hurt. You must be careful not to use the nasal sprays for decongestion for more than three days running. If you do, the congestion will become worse. Similarly, one must not use the oral decongestion sprays for more than 7 days at a stretch. Antihistamines such as hydroxyzine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, and Azelastine nasal sprays help relieve allergic symptoms. However, they have a few side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, not being able to pee, and blurred vision.
Drinking more fluids
When you drink more fluids, the mucus becomes thin. This will ease the pressure on your sinuses. The mucus will drain easily and relieve the congestion. If drinking water does not work for you, you can have some warm tea or coffee. If you favor soup or broth, that is all right.
Use Dietary Supplements
Sometimes, changes to the diet will help you deal with the sinus headaches better. For instance, pineapples have a soothing effect due to the bromelain. However, bromelain will increase the bleeding. So, if you take blood thinners, this could prove dangerous. You must also avoid bromelain if you are having blood pressure medication as the bromelain can cause a severe drop in the blood pressure leading to complications.